The release of examination results is one of the most important school moments, especially as it concerns the Nigerian academic system and the way in which it works. As a student who is determined and has plans for unfettered academic excellence and a great future cum career in your chosen discipline, you must be interested in how your Grade Point Average (GPA) and Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) are calculated per time.

Beyond being interested in the how, you must understand it for yourself so as to follow up closely whenever results show up. This is very crucial because errors of omission have been made in the past as well as other wrong calculations that have passed unnoticed to the detriment of the concerned student(s). In the light of these, every dogged student must be on the watch in his or her own best interest.

On the other hand, knowing how to calculate these vital figures makes you set clear academic goals which are SMART (specific, measurable, accurate, realistic and time-bound). So, follow closely as we take you through this seemingly impenetrable bramble! In a 5-point grading system, A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1 and F=0.

Having the foregoing in mind, another vital information you must have handy is the unit of each course for the semester as well as the total units of all courses taken in the particular semester under review. The units for various courses depend on the department that offers them. Take for instance, a student of a certain department (let’s call the student Tonye) takes five courses of 3 units each in a semester. That brings us to a total of 15 course units for the semester.

If A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1 and F=0 and Tonye scores A, B, C, D and E grades respectively in the five courses for the first semester, this means that Tonye gets 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 as the allocated points for the grades obtained. Each point is multiplied by the designated 3 units for each course and the results are added. That is 5×3=15, 4×3=12, 3×3=9, 2×3=6 and 1×3=3; the total of which is 45 points. In order to determine the resultant GPA for the first semester, therefore, Tonye divides the 45 points by 15 (the total course units). This gives him a total of 3.00 as his first semester GPA.

Furthermore, to determine his CPGA at the end of the academic session, Tonye has to do the same calculation with this second semester grades and total course units as earlier explained.

However, for the second semester, given that A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1 and F=0, Tonye then earns B, C, A, D and A grades respectively in the five courses taken, this means that he gets 4, 3, 5, 2 and 5 respectively as the allocated points for the grades. Each point is multiplied by the designated 3 units for each course and the results are added. That is 4×3=12, 3×3=9, 5×3=15, 2×3=6 and 5×3=15; the total of which is 57 points. In order to determine the resultant GPA for the second semester, therefore, Tonye divides the 57 points by 15 (the total course units). This gives him a total of 3.80 as his second semester GPA.

At the end of the academic year, for Tonye’s CGPA to be determined, he adds the first and second semester GPAs and divides the answer by 2. That means 3.00 + 3.80 = 6.80.

Then, 6.80 / 2 = 3.40 where 3.40 becomes Tonye’s CGPA for the academic year under review.

With this simple formula at each student’s fingertips, just like Tonye, these calculations can be done seamlessly, taking into cognizance all salient factors like the number of courses taken for the semester and the points awarded for each grade obtained, units of each course offered by the department, as well as the total number of units.

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